Prior to having kids I dreamed of being a high powered marketing executive living in New York City or abroad. I dreamed of working my way up the ladder and traveling the world for my job. I studied Marketing in college, and went on to get my MBA. My husband and I moved to Austin after college , and I had the privilege of becoming the Marketing Manager of a beverage company.
The company was young so I put in lots of hours, and spent many nights and weekends managing events and promoting the brand. I remember calling it my dream job, and then I became pregnant. A shift started to happen inside me, and I soon felt that spending nights out or weekends away from home is not what I wanted once I had kids.
After I had my son I actually quit my “dream job” for a few reasons; stress, commute and long hours. Now, I’m not saying that you should quit your dream job because of children, it’s just that my ideal dream job changed after the birth of my son. All of the sudden employers that offered a flexible work schedule, great health care, paid maternity leave (which I didn’t get with my first born) became much more appealing. Obviously the job duties were important, and I wanted to use my marketing skills, but many other things were weighed when making a decision.
I’ve thought about being in leadership one day, and that may be in the cards for me, but it’s not a dream anymore. I don’t care about a big wig title. My dream is to be happy in my role, provide for my family, and have a great work life balance.
For those that are reading this and don’t have children, but plan on it, well….you might not understand until you’re in my position. And for some, maybe your dream job doesn’t change after having kids, maybe your dream job doesn’t put a strain on your family or lifestyle. That is the ultimate win! I hope that you find a career that is fulfilling and brings you joy, but also allows you to keep your family first. If your dream job changes over time, it’s ok. Maybe you used to be a manager, and after the birth of your children you decided to stay home. Don’t feel guilty for it. You do what makes you happy, and what makes most sense for your family.
Did your dream job change after having kids?